From vibrating belts claiming to scorch fat to gimmicky “thigh busters” to lure the house wife, female fitness has greatly evolved. Females everywhere are starting to pick up a barbell and put down the celery.
“Strong is The New Skinny”
Experts say one reason muscle is trending is the increased media attention on female athletes. Female athletes are being valued in their achievements and accomplishments; they’re even starting to outnumber men in sports! Therefore the body type associated with that is being incorporated into the new “ideal” for women.
If you’re ready to develop a toned and sexy physique check out bikini competitor and nationally recognized powerlifter Holly Helton’s Top 5 tips for the Modern Woman.
1. Forget the Miracle Workout Plans
Real results take time. “If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it” It is up to you to make it happen and the key to this is consistency. When you start something, take it and follow through!
Will the excitement you have at first continue even at your worst?
Time and time again I see the readiness to start a new plan, but unless there is a determination to pursue even on days you feel at your lowest, that energy will very quickly extinguished.
- Always be working towards a new goal even if it seems small
- Remind yourself of the importance of reaching long term goals
- Be consistent with your training times
2. Increase Your Weights, To Decrease Your Waist
Ever heard the saying “women shouldn’t lift heavy or they’ll get bulky”? This is FALSE!
I’d say it’s the biggest myth in all of female training! It’s been proven time and time again that lifting heavy is imperative to women of all ages! I believe weight lifting may be the single best way for any woman to maintain overall fitness and burn fat.
When we pick up heavy things, our muscles get stronger (not necessarily bigger). If you eat more calories than you burn, then yes you will get bigger. If we pick up heavy things and maintain the right kind of meal plan (low carb, high protein), it is possible at any age to build significant strength without getting bigger. When lifting weights consistently (2-3 times per week) our muscles get stronger and denser. This then burns the fat covering our muscles and gives us the toned look we are all reaching for!
3. Cardio Evolved
Burn more calories in less time with short high intensity interval training workouts . Interval training combines short, high intensity bursts of speed for 10-60 seconds with slow recovery phases 60-120 seconds, repeated 3-5 times in one workout. A good HIIT workout can range from being super simple to extremely challenging. Always start simple and as it gets easy increase the intensity. It can be as simple as walking at a normal pace, speed up walking for 30 seconds then back to normal pace 60 seconds (repeat 5 times).
4. More Than Just Crunches
Core strength is what holds us together! As we get older it’s one of the first things to suffer. Poor core strength can lead to many other physical aches and pains due to poor body mechanics and poor body alignment. Back, hip, knee and neck pain can all be due to poor core strength. Core means more than just “abs” so make sure to consistently perform a balanced core workout. Find a good core workout and do this at least 3-4 times per week.
5. The Protein Myth
Protein will not make you “bulky”. Just ask your guy friends who have spent years or even decades trying to get “bulky”, how hard it is to put on muscle. Protein is needed to get the toned body of your dreams. Without enough protein you will not achieve maximum results and it will be difficult to build or maintain muscle.
Women’s Health magazine had an article that mentioned 5 signs to look for that indicate your body is begging for protein:
- You crave sweets and feel like you’re never quite full.
- Your brain feels foggy – hard to focus
- Your hair is falling out – or is thinning
- You feel weak – muscles will start shrinking!
- You get sick constantly – protein not only builds muscles but also your immune system!
*For more on that article see the Women’s Health article published June 17, 2014 by Laura Tedesco.*
Thankfully there are more women following the above tips now than ever before. The days of only men in the weight rooms are long gone.
Good luck in your fitness journey – never stop reaching for your goals and remember it takes not just one thing but a combination of things to get there.
Prepared by Holly Helton
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